Cocoa carriers at various depots across Ghana have suspended their sit-down strike, their leadership announced on Tuesday.
This follows a meeting between the aggrieved cocoa carriers and officials of the Cocoa Marketing Company (CMC), its labour suppliers and the Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD), after a week-long tussle over wage increment and poor conditions of service.
The haulers whose job is to offload cocoa beans abandoned duties and insisted the 0.62 pesewas they receive per bag they carry should be increased to GH¢1. The strike forced the CMC to suspend operations at their depots in Kumasi. Takoradi and Tema.
Although the CMC increased the amount to 0.82 pesewas per bag, the carriers rejected it and insisted on their GH¢1 per bag demand.
The company reportedly employed the services of prison inmates as an interim measure to offload cocoa beans to avoid wastage.
Speaking to Asaase News about the latest development a spokesperson for the cocoa carriers Raymond Abobiga Atanga said they will continue to engage their employers until their demands are met.
“It is painful but because of our motherland, we have to do this. We want to tell the government and the COCOBOD management that this is not over. Next season, we expect them to put things in order before we start work, if not they have failed as management. We have fought a good fight, and today I want to humbly announce to all of us that because of our motherland Ghana, let’s not allow all the citizens to suffer, so let’s work and pray that COCOBOD will attend to our needs. All carriers should go back to work. If they can’t go today, please take the allocation and go tomorrow,” he announced.
Raymond Abobiga Atanga said they will accept the proposed 82 pesewas per bag rate on the condition that the management of COCOBOD and the Cocoa Marketing Company will put in place measures to address their concerns about their welfare, social security, among others.
He expressed regret that the contractors who recruited them directly have failed to reach out to them since the beginning of their strike.
“The contractors since the strike have not attended to carriers to say anything. The contractors have failed COCOBOD and the carriers. We are not getting back to work because they employed prisoners. We are not getting back to work because we are hungry. We are getting back to work because of the citizens of Ghana. If things are not improved, maybe next season it will be worse. For now, we are accepting the 82 pesewas with conditions that incentives, allowances, welfare and SSNIT should be in place,” he added.
SOURCE: DAILY MAIL GH